5 Tips On Dyeing Dog’s Fur No One Told You

Is this fun?


Dyeing your pet is an aesthetic choice that experts are debating.

Some people believe it harms their dog’s health.

While others believe the risks are worth taking.

Dyeing pets can come with some risk.

Research hasn’t been done to determine if artificial colouring has a negative impact on the dog’s health.

That brings me to the next question, “Can I dye my dog fur?”

It’s no secret, we love our animals like family members.

Do you suppose dyeing your dog will make them feel even more special?

I will arm you with all the relevant information, and hopefully it will help make up your mind.

Dog’s fur vs human’s hair

Before you decide to use dye on your dog’s hair, let us do a quick comparison.

Canine fur is made up of the protein keratin like a human.

The fur grows from follicles in the inner layer of the skin called the dermis.

A dog’s hair grows in bundles, while a human is a solitary hair.

Human hair grows continuously, but for dogs, they grow in cycles.

A dog’s hair will grow to a certain length, stops growing and dies.

This length depends very much on the dog’s genetic makeup. 

A dog’s dermal skin is made up of two glands that can produce fluids.

The Apocrine glands produce sweat in humans, but in dogs, they have 2 other functions.

Firstly, they help seal the outer layer of the epidermis.

The next function is it secretes pheromones, which give dogs their unique smell.

The dog’s pad of its paw is the Eccrine glands.

This gland produces a watery secretion similar to human’s perspiration.

When a dog gets stressed or uneasy, it leaves a damp paw print produced by the same Eccrine glands.

For an in-depth study of dogs, fur / hair, go to the Animal Diversity Web. 

Why people dye their dog’s fur?

Dyeing your dog’s fur is an excellent way to celebrate special occasions with them.

You match outfits or commemorate events like the dog graduating from obedience school.

Also, you can do it for birthdays, Halloween and St. Patrick’s.

Dyeing your pet’s fur is not that different from dyeing human hair.

Food colouring is used, which is easy to find in any grocery store or supermarket.

Alternatively, you can buy dog fur dyes from a professional salon, online or at many retailers. 

5 reasons not to dye dog’s fur.

There are many reasons why it is not a good idea to dye your dog’s hair.

Here are 5 main reasons that you should be aware of before doing any permanent damage to their health and psyche in the process. 

1.Chemical hair dyes are for humans

If dogs have human-like hair, they can use regular products like shampoo, gel for styling and hair dye.

Unknowingly, pet lovers used chemical dyes that contain ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, etc. on their dogs. 

Such dyes are known to cause skin rashes and other issues in humans.

Products formulated for humans.

What do you think will happen to your dog if you use such products?

Check out my post on the dangers of using chemical hair dyes on your scalp.

Just imagine, dyeing human’s hair covers only the area of the scalp.

But for a dog, it is the whole body, which is a wider area to cover.

Worst of all, if you are not using dyes formulated for animals, toxic chemicals can end up absorbing into their skin instead of staying on top where it is needed. 

What happens when your dog ingests the chemical dye?

There is every possibility it may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, or even skin rash. 

You should stop using products formulated for humans on your dog.

That is why animal groups like PETA or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals have been advocating for years to stop colouring dog’s fur. 

2.Other health risks?

One way to ensure your dog is safe is to check the ingredients in all food, shampoo, etc., for your pet.

Make sure they do not have any synthetics, chemicals or preservatives.

Such products are for humans and are not formulated for animals. 

3.Dogs and water

People who’ve dyed their hair know that the process requires a lot of water.

It is the same when removing dye from your dog’s fur. You use lots of water! 

Like humans, dogs can accumulate water in their ears, which could cause painful complications.

Your dog’s ear is configured differently than humans.

They have an L-shaped canal that easily traps water.

It becomes more susceptible to bacteria or yeast growth with each passing minute if left untreated.

4.The psychological impact

Dogs are sentient beings, not playthings.

When a pet owner dyes their dog, they’re doing it for themselves, but not the pup.

Let’s remember these distinctions and value your canine companion’s opinions even if they can’t voice themselves!

If the dye is safe to use, there is a good chance the dog may smell differently from other dogs.

They need to smell other dogs odours rather than a layered smell.

Why smell is important?

In the canine world, smell is the most important.

Also, your dog’s appearance will seem odd to other dogs. If only dogs could talk!

According to veterinarians, dogs get stressed when groomed.

Imagine your dog being dyed. It will cause them to be more stressed. 

What you will experience is your dog losing its appetite, being more aggressive, developing diarrhoea and constipation.

A stressed dog is never a happy dog!

5.Is it legal in your country?

Dyeing dogs fur is popular in London, Tokyo and New York.

However, it is frown upon in Europe.

Depending on where you live, it may be illegal to dye your dog’s fur. 

I would advise you to check the laws in your own country.

If you must…

If you color your dog’s fur, ensure the products are safe.

You should do a patch test on your dog before using any dye.

Most dog owners recommend natural food colouring as one of the safest options.

You basically can mix it with water and spray it onto the fur as a temporary dye.

Apply a dog’s eye ointment like an ophthalmic ointment for protection.

Check for bruises before applying the dye.

Beets (red), Blackberries (black), Carrots (orange) and Spinach (green) are many fruits and vegetables you can use.

All practically harmless and safe for your dog.

Blow pens hair spray and chalk fur are safe products to use.

It is non-toxic and washable. If you are creative, this will suit you well.

You can blow many colours onto your own designed stencil.

The best part is that you can target a specific area to highlight a logo, signage etc, and don’t have to do the whole body. 


I hope you’ve found this article interesting, informative and compelling.

Please leave a comment with any questions or concerns that remain unanswered.

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Thank you for reading!


Disclosure: Just a Heads Up: My posts may contain affiliate links! If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a cent more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps keep the lights on. Many thanks!

Disclaimer: These statements are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. They are for information purposes only. They have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you suspect that you have a medical condition, seek help from your doctor.

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